Out of the Mouth of Babes · 26 June 2013

We really ought to listen to our children. Especially, when it comes to their feet.

I am not sure that our youngest, Thing 3, was planning on getting minimalist shoes, but he got a pair yesterday. Our main goal was to get our middle son, Thing 2, some running shoes. He had run his freshman year with a pair of shoes with a 4-mm drop from heel to toe and was going to make the switch to no drop and no support. Not that I was pushing him or anything; he was just ready.

While we were at the store, Thing 3 found a pair of shoes he liked from the clearance table. It was not really my intent, but we walked out of Born to Run with three new pairs of shoes. All with no heel to toe drop and no arch support.

While I have been sold on this concept for quite some time now, I was amazed to find that my sons had a concrete reason for liking no drop shoes. They both said they could stand easier.

Now, I would not take their testimonials as conclusive evidence for no drop no support shoes being the way to go, but hearing my sons say it made me think. It made me wonder what else they had been saying that I was not hearing. Especially, when it came to shoes.

Unfortunately, we often do not listen to our children when they tell us things about their bodies. We do not think they are aware enough to know much when in reality, they know more than they are telling us. I never even considered that having a conventional shoe with 10-mm or more heel to toe drop would make it difficult to stand still. And yet two of our children said it was so.

If we really listened to our kids, maybe we always would have had minimalist and “barefoot” shoes. Maybe we would not have tried to protect our feet so much if we had just heard the kids say that their feet hurt in the fall when they had to squish those feet that had been bare all summer into uncomfortable shoes. Just so they could go to school in a new pair.

I am not sure I have done a great job of listening to my children in the past, but I hope I can do better. Especially, when they tell me about their feet.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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